Saturday, August 17, 2019

Woodstock Live! - 1969 Transcript - Day 3

Woodstock Live! Day 3 – Transcript

I  just came back into the Hatfield’s tent. I’m here with a couple of young people I met when we first arrived, a young guy named Miles and his girl, Hadley. They just got here today, and Hatfield invited them in, same as me. I guess they, too, looked hungry. 

As expected, Joe Cocker was sensational. Here was one of the great performances I’ve seen in my lifetime, and what a crowd pleaser, particularly “Feeling All Right” and a rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” that rivals the Beatles’. After a weather reprieve that lasted most of the day, it’s raining again. Country Joe and the Fish played mostly during the rain, but in an iconic Woodstock moment, the whole of the half-million sang a chorus of the “Fish Cheer.” While there has been a myriad of technical issues that weren’t a part of Monterey - in that respect, the performances there outshining those here at Woodstock - there’s a spirit here that cannot be matched. I am overwhelmed, working on very little sleep, and on sensory overload. I am so exhausted that I missed several bands this afternoon simply because you, you just can’t stay awake for three days.

I caught a little bit of Blood, Sweat and Tears. The enthusiasm of the crowd for the diversity of music is quite striking, with the stand-out from what is essentially a jazz band being their rendition of Billy Holiday’s “God Bless the Child.”

…It’s 3 AM. It’s been quiet, dead quiet for the past half hour but now, maybe in the background you can hear Crosby, Stills and Nash. Miles, Hadley and I are headed out to watch the show. The Hatfield’s tent isn’t that far from the stage and a chain link fence lying on its side allows us easy access front and center. Better though, there’s a section off to the side where they’re storing all the amps and hardware that kind of looks like a Mayan pyramid. Miles and Hadley are climbing up top. There are indeed people falling in love here, and rumor has it, even, that a baby was born. Despite a message to avoid the brown acid and the occasion freak out, this has become a lawful and happy community. It’s quite endearing.

…The announcer said “Crosby stills Nash and Young” but I’m not seeing Young.

Young has pretty much kept to himself for most of what they’ve called the acoustic set, only out front for “Mr. Soul.” They’ve just done an electric set with Neil kind of hanging about in the shadows, definitely defining the sound yet he seems pretty apprehensive about all the cameraman, the technicians and all their ballyhoo, and honestly, it can be a little distracting. 

As we speak, though, another great moment, folks. I mean, there are four or 500,000 people here and you can hear a pin drop. The song is an a cappella tune that has the crowd mesmerized called “Find the Cost of Freedom.” If I had to pick just one tune, this would be Woodstock’s anthem. 

Well folks, I’m going to join Hadley and Miles at the top of the Mayan pyramid and enjoy the rest of the set. This is R.J. Stowell reporting live from Woodstock.

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